BUCHAREST, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Romania's economy will grow at a modest pace this year, deputy central bank Governor Cristian Popa said on Wednesday, compared with an expected contraction of around 7 percent in 2009.
"For 2010 we are forecasting a modest positive growth," Popa told reporters in Vienna.
The International Monetary Fund, which starts a one-week visit to Bucharest on Wednesday to review Romania's progress in meeting conditions attached to a 20 billion euro aid agreement, sees the economy growing by 1.3 percent this year.
The disbursement of about 3.3 billion euros worth of IMF and European Commission combined tranches is widely priced in by financial markets, following the approval of an austerity 2010 budget frozen because of political turmoil last year.
Like most of its regional peers, Romania's economy was hammered by shrinking demand for its goods in the euro zone and a drop in domestic consumption following a virtual freeze in lending.